It’s been another hectic week with lots of news so here’s our likely last roundup for the year.


Integrated Ferry Fares

Auckland Transport announced last Friday that ferry users will get integrated fares by April. I certainly could have done with integrated fares on that same Friday. To get back home from Waiheke I caught the bus to the ferry and then after getting to the city caught the train home. However, it’s worth noting that integrated fares does not mean ferry fares will be the same as bus and train fares.

This will see single zone bus or train travel, at both the start and end of the ferry trip, included within the existing AT HOP ferry fare, effectively making single zone connecting AT Metro bus or train trips free. This will be provided for Bayswater, Beach Haven, Birkenhead, Gulf Harbour, Half Moon Bay, Hobsonville, Pine Harbour and West Harbour ferry services contracted by AT. In addition, Fullers360 has confirmed simpler fares will also be provided on its Devonport and Waiheke ferries when passengers use their HOP card.

…….

AT’s executive general manager Integrated Networks Mark Lambert says AT has been working with Auckland Council and Fullers to make public transport easier. “As an example, if you use your HOP card for your bus or train trip to the ferry within the City Zone on the mainland and use a bus to connect at the other end of your ferry trip, for a single zone it will be included in the single price of your HOP ferry fare. You just need to tag-on and off for every leg of your journey and you will only pay once.”

We’ll obviously find out more next year but it will be interesting to see how that ties in with trips longer than one zone either side of the ferry trip.


Victoria St Cycleway

On Monday AT announced construction would start this month on the Victoria St Cycleway which will be between Beaumont St and Nelson St.

The work will cost $5.3 million for construction – inclusive of the maintenance reseal programme. It will be a dig once approach.

Waitemata Local Board’s transport lead Graeme Gunthorp says the work will provide a vital connection.

“This vital connection links the cycleways on Franklin Road and Nelson Street, so you can bike or scooter from Ponsonby to the city – all on a separated and safe bike path. This is how we create a connected network.”

Mr Gunthorp says pedestrians will also be prioritised with the busy Halsey/Victoria/Wellesley intersection becoming far safer, quicker and easier for people to cross the road.
“The slip lanes, which have no place in cities or town centres, will be removed, and the kerb will be built out,” he says.
“These healthy, safe, connected and accessible streets are what we need more of.”

AT’s Portfolio Delivery Director (Projects), David Nelson, says the work will start immediately after Christmas.

This project had gone quite for a long time so it’s great to see it finally happening. There are more details and images on ATs website.


Speed Cameras

More speed cameras are on the way.

Four more red light safety cameras are live at high-risk intersections in Auckland, following the first four installed in recent weeks.

These new red light safety cameras will reduce dangerous driving and help save lives.

In Auckland, between 2014 and 2018, there were 83 fatalities or serious injuries due to red light running.

There are about 18 intersections with red light cameras on them out of about 657 across the region. We should be aiming to have cameras on every one of them.


Eastern Busway

AT say their monitoring is showing only very little impact is being caused by the construction of the Eastern Busway and that they’re even seeing some increased use of buses.

Travel time data shows that travel disruption has been kept to an absolute minimum and bus patronage is improving in the local area.

Auckland Transport (AT) has used GPS information and point-to-point camera technology to measure the traffic disruption caused by the roadworks.

Earlier this year, measures to minimise travel disruption and provide more journey options were introduced.

These included a temporary T2 lane on Pakuranga Road, new express bus services between Howick, Pakuranga and Panmure Station; as well as a Park and Ride at Lloyd Elsmore Park.

Travel data shows disruption was kept to a minimum:

  • The impact on journey times for single occupant vehicles has been minimal since the T2 lane was introduced.
  • Journey times have been an average of three per cent slower, month-by-month, since the lane was introduced earlier this year.
  • Improvements to bus journey times and increased local bus patronage of seven per cent during peak travel time since construction started. The new 728 and 729 express services – introduced to support the T2/bus lane – are the largest contributors to this increase.
  • Journey times across the wider East Auckland area, including Waipuna Bridge and Lagoon Drive, show very little impact on journey times for single-occupancy vehicles, or public transport, as a result of construction of stage one.
  • For the month of October, journey times for the wider network have been four per cent slower.
  • Multi-occupant vehicles and buses using the T2 lane have experienced faster journey times.
  • Discounted e-bikes


Cheaper e-bikes for some public sector workers

We’ve heard of a few initiatives before where organisations used bulk purchasing to enable staff to purchase cheaper e-bikes – and they’ve been very successful at getting more people on bikes. The government has now taken up the idea and is rolling it out to about 50,000 public sector workers.

Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.

Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.

“The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase discounts on e-bikes which will be made available to interested workers in public sector organisations including DHBs, councils and state sector agencies.

“The discounts on e-bikes will range from 10 to 50 percent, or $300 to $1200, off the cost of an e-bike.

This is excellent and we need more public and private sector employers to replicate this. Handedly the NZTA already has some guidance about how other organisations can replicate this.


Roadside drug testing

The government are looking to bring in roadside drug testing to improve road safety

Police will be given new powers to conduct random roadside oral fluid drug testing to deter, detect and prosecute drugged drivers in order to save lives, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today.

“Last year 95 people were killed in preventable crashes where the driver was found to have drugs in their system that could impair driving. That is an enormous and intolerable loss of life,” said Julie Anne Genter.

This isn’t expected to start till 2021.


Motorway and cycleway openings

Yesterday saw the official opening of extra lanes and the cycleway on SH16 between Lincoln Rd and Westgate along with the works on SH1 between Papakura and Takanini.

My cycle commute takes me through the Lincoln to Westgate area so I’ve been looking forward to it being completed for quite some time, especially as some parts have been completed for over a year.

You can see a video of some of it here. One thing that is particurly nice is that they’ve laid smooth asphalt instead of concrete, which has a tendency to be bumpy.


There’s still more we want to cover that we haven’t yet so if there’s something you think we’ve missed, it might just be that we’re waiting to give it the attention it deserves. We’ve also still got a few more posts planned for the year including some wrapping up all the big things that have happened.

Finally, if you’re travelling over the Christmas/New Year period, be safe.

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28 comments

        1. Yeah true, doom and gloom definitely is more of a ratings winner. I must say AT have done a rubbish job of advertising the free fares this year, I can’t imagine it will as successful as last year.

  1. The last ferry from Waiheke to Devonport is at 1800. This is ridiculously early, especially in the summer months. You cannot even have dinner on the island and get a ferry straight back to Devonport. Now I can fully understand that it might not be economically viable to run this service into the evening so how about Fullers offer a free transfer onto the Devonport service or other inner Harbour services for that matter. It’s utterly ridiculous that you get charged an extra fare for a worse experience as the Waiheke ferry often gets in just after the Devonport one has left, resulting in a long wait in the terminal.

        1. Waiheke to Devonport is $21 if you go direct. It’s $28.50 if you’re forced to go through the city. You’re being charged more for the ‘privilege’ of going up to half an hour out of your way. I mean you literally have to go past Devonport and backtrack to get to get there. I don’t think a free transfer is too much to ask for.

    1. I would assume they meaning to put this on Federal Street, would be the only logical explanation as there are no other cycle lanes in that area, certainly not on Hobson.

      1. ”Last year 95 people were killed in preventable crashes where the driver was found to have drugs in their system that could impair driving. ” – hard to know whether that is significant without knowing what percentage of the non crashing driving public has drugs in their system.

  2. Looks like those ‘temporary’ T2 lanes can be made permanent?

    Gt North Rd at Kelston carries 15% more vehicles a day with four lanes than the six-lane Pakuranga Rd does.

      1. Aye, the political difficulty of making an easy decision.

        I’m really just getting a whinge in for West Auckland. The city’s busiest local roads with only four lanes to work with.

  3. The one very poor outcome of the now completed Lincoln Rd motorway on/off ramps is NZTA have axed the west bound on ramp lane meaning west and east bound have the crawl up the same lanes meaning mega gridlock on Lincoln Rd, far worse than it’s usual awful self.

    Really bad! Escaping West Auckland is proving very difficult most of the day now!

  4. When I went to top up my 10ride ferry ticket Fullers have put the price up . In the 3 mths since I last topped it up they have raise it $3 from $150 to $153 and with no warning but not unexpected .

    Also those that are coming and going from the Island will need one of these to get in the correct lanes ;-

    “Reminder: Claim your Waiheke Residents Card to use the Residents Lane from 21 December

    We wanted to remind our customers that from this Saturday, 21 December 2019, in order to access the Residents Lane, you will need to have your Residents Card.

    Head to Matiatia Ticket Office with a proof of address to get your card!”

    So if don’t have one don’t try to jump the special que as they all have mug shots on them

      1. So they are historically correct then unless the plural of resident was residentes.
        Perhaps Fullers used them up minding their p’s and q’s. (oh look a plural not a genitive, should we all shoot ourselves now, or even shoot our selfes as Shakespeare might have said).

        1. Correct use in this case can be “Residents’ Card,” meaning belonging to all the residents, but could also be “Resident’s Card,” meaning belonging to individual residents. Humbug.

        2. That is the most recent and the most ridiculous, s’ is a 19th century invention by a group of twits but somehow it stuck as a rule. the apostophe was supposed to only be used to indicate a contraction and since most plurals were an es the e was left out giving ‘s. That was for plurals and the genitive. But pedants or pedant’s to be traditional couldn’t leave it alone. They changed it so that no plural was ‘s and all genitives were ‘s and then claimed that all genitives were possessive (they aren’t – “what is the name of mfwic’s queen?” is genitive but doesn’t mean I own Her Majesty). Then finally these pricks decided plural and possessive needed a rule so they moved the apostrophe after the s to make it totally daft. Only use it if you want to be the type of person who complies with other people’s’ rules. Even better use two.

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